• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Updates to Prescriber Consultation Service

  • Call Out for Speakers and Presenters

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved



On Monday, March 6th, we hosted our monthly research spotlight webinar: "Safer supply implementation successes, challenges, and outcomes: findings from four Ontario Programs". Drawing from a community based, qualitative study of four safer supply programs in Ontario, Canada, this presentation focused on program implementation designs, and implementation successes, challenges and perceived outcomes from the perspective of people enrolled in the programs, physicians, and nurses who prescribe safer supply, dispensing pharmacists, and the nurses, counsellors, navigators who support the programs. Our presenter was Dr. Carol Strike, currently a Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. 

A question and answer period followed Dr. Strike's presentation. Click here for the webinar recording, as well as the resources and links shared!

On Friday, March 17th, we hosted a presentation by Cassidy Morris, current Program Administrator for the London InterCommunity Health Centre's (LIHC) Safer Opioid Supply (SOS) Program. Cassidy's presentation covers the history of the LIHC's SOS Program, describes community health centre models of safer supply care, clinic flow and client intake flow, as well as pointers for how to navigate prescriber concerns about diversion. Click here to watch the recording!


Weekly Member Drop-In Meetings:
Members are welcome to join our weekly meeting drop-in meetings. It is an interdisciplinary group with prescribers, pharmacists, harm reduction workers, policy folks, nurses, people who use drugs, etc. Right now, we are meeting on Thursdays at 12pm EST. Zoom Link

In addition to time for community updates and discussion, our meetings now include an informal presentation from a member or guest about the work that they are doing. You can sign up to present about the work you are doing by clicking here.

Themes that arose in the community discussion portion of our meetings in March included:
  • Conversations about drug checking.
  • Collaboration in the harm reduction community - building a supportive, diverse, and inclusive community.
  • Safer supply and decriminalization - pills without prescriptions, buyers' clubs, threat of capitalism taking over safer supply.
  • Presentation from Stimulus 2023 team and Q&A.
  • Love in the Time of Fentanyl - new documentary.
  • Frustrations and struggles for service workers navigating gaps in care.
  • Selfcare to prevent burnout.
  • Xylazine trends.
Full meeting minutes can be found in the meeting notes and resources folder on our Google Drive.

Want to learn more about our different working groups? Come check out what we've been up to!

Are you a health care provider who is involved in prescribing safer supply, e.g., NPs, MDs, PAs, RNs? If you are interested in attending our next clinician meeting on prescribing safer supply on Wednesday, April 5th at 12pm PST | 3pm EST, please register here. Clinician meeting goals include: (1) Connecting safer supply clinicians; (2) Discussing case studies; (3) Asking questions; and, (4) Sharing clinical experiences.


Did you know we have a prescriber consultation service? This service offers a direct link between health care providers and experienced safer supply providers (e.g., physician, nurse practitioners). We've recently made some changes to how our consultation service works. For better accessibility and continuity, the consultant phone number will be discontinued on Monday, April 3rd, 2023, and registered consultation service members will use an email address to connect with the consultant instead. A confirmation email was sent to all NSS-CoP members who are registered with us as safer supply prescribers. If you didn't receive this message and/or want to register for the prescriber consultation service as a physician or nurse practitioner, please email us at


Dear NSS-CoP members,

We'd love to involve more of you in our work. This is an open invitation for you to chat with us if you think you might like to be:

  • on our speakers/presenters list (e.g., weekly drop-ins, webinars, presentations, etc.)
  • a facilitator, moderator, or presenter at a role-specific meeting
    (e.g., clinicians/prescribers, nurses, program operators, etc.)
  • something else we haven't thought of yet!

If you're interested, drop us a line at

We look forward to hearing from you,
NSS-CoP team

Prescribed Safer Supply - Emerging Evidence: This evidence brief produced by the NSS-CoP summarizes existing and newly emerging evidence regarding prescribed safer supply. It covers who can access prescribed safer supply, evidence from research and evaluation studies, success factors for prescribed safer supply programs, and much more. Click here to read the full evidence brief!

NSS-CoP Resource Library: Did you know we have a resource library with OVER 1,000 resources on safer supply? You can access it for FREE anytime. It features academic journal articles, grey literature, knowledge translation materials, clinical practice guidelines, and more!

Best Practices for Supporting People Who Use Substances - SafeLink Alberta: As a component of the Substance Use Capacity Building Project, SafeLink Alberta has developed the Best Practices for Supporting People Who Use Substances Toolkit. Over the past year, SafeLink Alberta conducted a review of available literature and consulted with people with lived and living experience, service providers who support people who use substances, and other industry experts to inform their toolkit. Click here to download your copy!

Prescribed Safer Supply Protocols - Fentanyl Patch: These resources provide a standardized protocol for the provision of fentanyl patches to reduce reliance on the illicit drug supply and associated harms. This protocol is adapted from PHS Community Services Society’s Fentanyl Patch Policy and Vancouver Coastal Health’s Fentanyl Patch Clinical Operational Manual.

Crackdown Podcast - Episode 37: Drugstore Cowboy: A new episode of Crackdown Podcast is now available! Here's a brief description of the episode: "Diversion: a cold, technocratic word for when we give, trade or sell our prescribed meds to someone else. A ghost story, whispered among doctors and now, a moral panic, hollered by right wing politicians. But really, everyone’s shared their meds. I’ve done it and I bet you have too – as an act of mutual aid, solidarity or maybe survival. But doctors have created all kinds of measures to try to stop it. And politicians have spread lies as part of a pretext to stamp out safe supply before it ever really gets started. In this episode we follow a guy named Pockets, as he finds relief in heroin and eventually gets prescribed Dilaudid and Methadone. Surrounded by death, in the time of fentanyl and benzodope, Pockets starts to share his safe, regulated meds to help save lives. And he’s punished for it. We also hear from professors Thomas Kerr and Geoff Bardwell who talk about their research on diversion, which provides an alternative, evidence-based, perspective on the highly controversial practice."

Position Paper: Involuntary Treatment: Criminalization by another name - PIVOT Legal SocietyThis position paper is endorsed by organizations and individuals who call for the abolition of involuntary treatment, including opposition to the passage of any policy or legislation that expands, sanctions, or encourages the practice. Rather than supporting expanded involuntary or carceral treatment, they endorse supports and services that directly meet people’s material needs, built on a framework of consent, capacity, cultural safety, and peer leadership. They call on all levels of government to invest in robust access to voluntary treatment options, including primary care, detox, treatment programs, publicly funded counselling services, residential mental health services, harm reduction programming, safe supply, family programming, culturally affirming options, and treatment modalities that reflect the intersecting identities of all those who seek and/or desire mental health and substance use support and care. Click here to download the full position paper.

HIV self-tests are here! Now what? In August 2022, the Government of Canada announced new funding to purchase and distribute HIV self-test kits across the country. The kits are being distributed to individuals and communities most affected by HIV through a combination of community-based organizations and mail orders placed online. CATIE and REACH Nexus - Community Link are collaborating to distribute HIV self-test kits to organizations that support the health of people who use substances. We, alongside many other groups, are working together to engage interested community-based organizations and services, and ensure that they receive kits, training, logistical support and information resources. How your organization can participate: Organizations that would like to learn more or sign up are encouraged to contact Ayibatonye Oriakhi at We can give you more information and ensure you have access to appropriate quantities, training and support, and receive information resources to distribute with your self-test kits. To learn more about HIV self-testing, visit the CATIE website.
Bardwell, G., et al. (2023). Access to tablet injectable opioid agonist therapy (TiOAT) in rural and smaller urban settings in British Columbia, Canada: a qualitative study | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy

  • This study highlights the beneficial ways in which health services tailored for people who use drugs can create a stigma-free environment with an emphasis on social bonds.
  • Other factors such as transportation access, dispensing policies, and access in rural hospitals and custodial settings produced unique challenges for rural people who use drugs.
  • Public health authorities in rural and smaller settings should consider these factors when designing, implementing, and scaling up future substance use services, including TiOAT programs.

We encourage NSS-CoP members to email with submissions to include in our newsletter. Content examples include but are not limited to community-led projects, peer-reviewed articles, grey literature, government publications, etc.

Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD) - Evaluation Questionnaire: CAPUD received funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) to support our work. CAPUD is required to collect information to support the evaluation of the project. They would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer the evaluation questions. Your participation is essential to their work, and they need your feedback to understand if they are meeting the needs of communities and stakeholders throughout Canada. Click here to complete the survey.

2023 Stimulus Conference: Registration is now open for Stimulus 2023, the largest national harm reduction and drug policy gathering in Canada! Stimulus 2023 is a two-and-a-half day event scheduled October 5-7, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. They expect to welcome 1,500 people whose expertise includes substance use experts, nurses, social workers, physicians, corrections staff, frontline workers, people involved in sex work, researchers, and other key stakeholders from across Canada. You can register now here!

Public Health 2023 - Canadian Public Health Association: Public Health 2023 is the national conference where public health professionals, researchers, policy-makers, academics, students, and trainees come together to strengthen efforts to improve health and well-being, to share the latest research and information, to promote best practices and to advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. CPHA will embrace technology and present sessions June 20th to 22nd from 11am to 4:30pm EDT dailyFind more information and important dates here!

Harm reduction in acute care: Let's talk! - Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO): Join the RNAO for their next webinar happening on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 from 12-1pm EST. In what some call, the “post-pandemic,” the overdose crisis remains an epidemic. Nurses play an integral role in harm reduction, and save lives that would be otherwise needlessly lost. Harm reduction is a foundational component of nursing practice.  It involves policies, programmes and practices that aim primarily to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs without necessarily reducing drug consumption.  Harm reduction has been proven effective time and time again across the health care continuum, including in acute care settings, which can prove particularly challenging. This webinar will provide a general overview of the philosophy of harm reduction, provide clarity to the role of harm reduction in acute care and provide practical strategies for integration of harm reduction principles into acute care practice. Register here.

Opioid Use Disorder and Continuity of Care When Transitioning Between Settings: From Acute Care to Community: The next BC ECHO on Substance Use Session is on Thursday, April 13 at 12-1pm PST | 3-4pm EST. By the end of this session, participants will be able to 1) describe the risks, challenges, and considerations related to transitions between acute care setting and community care, 2) describe how to facilitate continued opioid use disorder (OUD) care for a person transitioning from acute care, and 3) discuss strategies to communicate effectively with other care providers as patients transition in and out of acute care settings. Presenter: Dr. Olivia Brooks. Register here.

Connected Communities: Building Equitable Integrated Healthcare: The Alliance for Healthier Communities will hold the annual primary health care conference, Connected Communities: Building Equitable Integrated Healthcare, on June 7-8, 2023, at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites. At the Connected Communities conference, they will focus on community-led innovation and solutions tapping into new research results and evidence-informed practices that are demonstrating how integrated care systems that focus on health equity and community are improving population health outcomes. Register now!

Confronting the Drug War - Drug User-oriented Harm Reduction and Drug Policy (Session Four, The Drug War and Journalism): This series is hosted by the SU x COVID Data Collaborative's Policy Working Group alongside the UCLA Center for Social Medicine, Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences Program D3S, National Survivors Union, Drug Policy Alliance, and FORE Foundation. Join them as they invite activists who use drugs and harm reduction researchers to a series of discussions about reforming drug use policy, deconstructing the disease model of addiction, and alternate ways of thinking about drug use. For the fourth session on April 5th, 2023, they've invited Sam Fenn, Manisha Krishnan, Garth Mullins, and Zachary Siegel for a moderated discussion about the drug war and journalism. Register now!

5th Annual British Columbia Substance Use Conference: The British Columbia Centre on Substance Use conference planning committee is excited to announce that the 5th annual BC Substance Use Conference will be held April 20th to 22nd, 2023. To enable provincial-wide participation, BCCSU will be hosting a blended conference this year, with both virtual and in-person options for attendance. The in-person program will be held at the JW Marriott Park Vancouver. The conference theme this year is The Challenge of ChangeRegistration is now open!

META:PHI Webinar Series 2023: Check out and register for the META:PHI webinar series line up for 2023. META:PHI hosts a virtual presentation on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EST. These sessions are intended for service providers who work with people who use substances. All sessions are free.

National and General News: British Columbia:
Ontario: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: Québec (et en français s'il vous plaît!): Atlantic Region (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador):

Share your skills:

We’d like to create opportunities for skills sharing. Let us know if you would like to offer a workshop or present to the membership.

Share your successes:

Share your success stories, your reports, and safer supply resources that you develop with the NSS-CoP membership through:

How can we help? Let us know what you need! Our goal is to support you by assisting in areas around your programs, organizations, and communities!

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(519) 660-0875 ext. 1264

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